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Patterns of success

By Xu Haoyu and Yang Jun | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-04-09 07:33
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Yang Mei (left), founder of an embroidery cooperative in Zhijin county of Guizhou province, communicates with a colleague. [Photo by Shang Yujie/provided to China Daily]

Guizhou province, nestled among the hills in Southwest China, is the place with the second-largest outflow of workers in the country. In 2018, the number reached 9.28 million people, which equates to a quarter of its permanent residents. As large groups of young men choose to leave to seek better pay and jobs with greater stability in more industrialized cities, most women stay home to take care of the children and the elders.

However, since the provincial government launched its Jinxiu Plan-to promote the development of the local handicraft industry-in 2013, around half a million women in Guizhou have found employment closer to home with the more than 1,000 handicraft enterprises and professional cooperatives that make up a 6 billion yuan ($849 million) industry.

The rich culture of ethnic groups in China, including embroidery and batik techniques they have learned since childhood, is now a ticket out of poverty for those housewives, and even the coronavirus outbreak can't stop them from earning a better living.

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